President Joe Biden has long been criticized for his tendency to embellish stories and events in his life, a pattern that has earned him numerous fact-checking rebukes. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the White House continued this trend with a post about MLK, specifically focusing on a bust of the civil rights leader in the Oval Office. The post claimed that the MLK bust was “handpicked by President Biden” as a reflection of his promise to restore America’s soul and unite the country. However, this statement is factually incorrect, as the MLK bust was originally placed in the Oval Office under President Obama, and Trump retained it in a different area.
The White House’s attempt to attribute the selection of the MLK bust to Biden, portraying it as a deliberate choice reflecting his agenda, is misleading. The claim that Biden “handpicked” the bust doesn’t align with the historical facts surrounding its presence in the Oval Office. The only credit Biden can truthfully receive is for rearranging the items in the office, including the decision to place the MLK bust on a different table after removing a Winston Churchill bust that had been displayed by previous administrations.
This incident adds to the growing list of instances where Biden’s statements are found to be factually inaccurate. Despite the administration’s effort to project a specific narrative, fact-checkers point out the discrepancies between the White House’s claims and historical realities. This misleading portrayal underscores a broader concern about the administration’s willingness to prioritize optics over accuracy, further eroding trust in the information disseminated by the president and his team.
In the context of fact-checking, the White House’s post on MLK Day is deemed “false,” as Biden did not handpick the MLK bust, and the claim contradicts established historical records. This episode echoes previous incidents where narratives involving historical artifacts, such as the MLK bust, become subjects of falsehoods and subsequent fact-checking.